Emergency rooms are not properly trained to identify child abuse

Emergency rooms are a place where many abused children end up, it is crucial that staff are able to notice the signs and get the appropriate help.


Emergency rooms may not be properly trained to identify child abuse. In a perfect world, children would all live healthy and happy lives, but (unfortunately) they don’t. There are cases of child abuse and mistreatment each dayand these are only the ones we know about. Child maltreatment can have significant impacts on the health children.


There must be training and education in place to ensure that those who need to know recognize the signs of child abuse. This includes education workers, police officers and hospital staff. If children go to the emergency room for injuries resulting from child abuse, workers need to be able to recognize it.

According Medical Xpress, study found hospital emergency departments lack policies and strategies to identify child abuse and neglect. This study was carried out by the European Society for Emergency Medicine, and it can be read in full here.

RELATED: Child abuse linked to increased risk of heart failure in adulthood

This was done by completing a survey of emergency service staff, and only half said they had an actual policy in place that would help staff identify children who were being abused or neglected at home.

Since the emergency room is a place where many abused children end up, it is essential that staff are able to notice the signs and get the appropriate help the child needs. Previous studies have shown that hospitals that have policies in place are more likely to be effective in identifying children who are being abused. These policies include screening tools and staff training.

Although these surveys have been conducted across Europe, this may underscore the need to review how this is done in the United States and other countries around the world. If they are able to help hospitals be better equipped to detect signs of abuse, they can save more children who would otherwise fall through the cracks.

The researchers suggest that all hospitals have a toolkit they use to spot child abuse, and this would include training for staff and education on what to look for and what to do if they think that a child is being abused.

The study showed that these policies can help notice child abuse, and since it works, they should be implemented across the country and around the world. Children count on surrounding adults notice something is wrong, and we can’t let them down.

Sources: Medical Xpress, EUSEM

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